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Makes 2 ciabatta loaves

The distinctive taste and smell of virgin olive oil is the essential characteristic of an aromatic ciabatta loaf.

Free from Egg, Soya, Dairy, Nuts
Vegetarian, Vegan


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  1. Put the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt into a large bowl and blend them together.
  2. Stir in the water.
  3. Using your hands, gather everything together into a doughy mass.
  4. Knead the dough in the bowl, or on a work surface, for 100 presses. Avoid adding flour if possible.
  5. Cover the dough bowl with oiled cling film and leave it in a warm place for the dough to double in size, which will take about an hour.
  6. Line a large baking tray with parchment.
  7. Knead the dough for 20 presses, add the oil and knead the dough for another 80 presses.
  8. Cut the dough into two pieces.  Shape and roll each piece of dough into a 25cm/10” cylinder.
  9. Transfer the dough cylinders to the prepared tray, keeping them apart.
  10. Loosely cover the tray with the oiled cling film and leave it to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  11. Pre-heat the oven.
  12. Remove the cling film and bake for 35-40 minutes. You will know it’s done when the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
  13. Leave to cool on a wire rack.


Large baking tray


200°C, Fan 180°C, 400°F, Gas 6

Cooking time

35–40 minutes
Why not give it another name? Ok, I haven't tried this recipe but I am sure it produces a fine bread - after all is a pretty standard white bred recipe. What I wouldn't want is anyone thinking that it might result in anything similar to ciabatta bread! Leaving aside the question of whether this is the most appropriate flour to use, the method does not include two of the most distinguishing passages of ciabatta making. Firstly, ciabatta requires a biga (a prefermented sponge), made at least 12 to 18 hours before baking. And second, the handling for shaping after the first proofing must be the most delicate, no further kneading, rather much attention at not deflating the big bubbles that the dough must have at this stage. The final texture of ciabatta must be very airy, with large and irregular alveolation. So let's call it white bread!
By Alex
07 Mar 2018
I tried to make this bread today. It didn't double in size after proving for an hour and the finished product was hard and thin. What did I do wrong please? It was my first ever attempt at making bread
By Mrs Ria Saunders
16 Jun 2016
I haven't yet tried this particular recipe (which is why I've given an 'average' 3*) but I do make Ciabatta quite frequently. Made into round rolls, rather than the traditional 'Ciabatta' square rolls, they are excellent as 'burger buns' for a barbecue, being less sweet than the stodgy ones offered in shops.
By Mr John Collard
21 Jan 2014
I make this bread quite often now lasts for two days. I also use it for garlic bread to go with curries etc but cook garlic bread in the oven too crispy under the grill. happy cooking.
By Mrs brenda hughes
07 Nov 2013
I absolutely love this recipe! I am a complete disaster when it comes to baking, but after successfully baking two seperate loaves of bread this past week, I got brave enough to attempt doubling the recipe and splitting it into several small loaves. My family will be very happy tonight at dinner; especially my hubby who will not have to stop on his way home to buy a baguette to go with dinner. :) Thanks a Million!
By Mrs Sharon Kelly
11 Mar 2013
Tried this yesterday and loved it! The smell of olive oil was heavenly and it tasted even better when I dipped the bread in more olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I used the "stretch and fold inside a bowl" method so there was minimal kneading and no extra flour needed at all. Will definitely try this again, maybe adding some herbs... Thanks for this great recipe!
By Miss Shirley Ng
16 Dec 2012
I am able to tolerate spelt flour, so use it all the time to make bread, pastry & puddings. Tried this receipe, loved it. So amazingly did my very finickity husband! Have tried less water which works & means that you don't have use loads of extra flour for kneading
By Ms Alison Fessi
14 Sep 2012
I bake this bread on a regular basis as my family think it is delicious. I would definitely recommend this recipe.
By Mrs Yvonne Davies
23 Jan 2012

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